6 Reasons Why The Narcissist Silent Treatment Is So Dangerous

Last updated by Katie M.

If you've ever been involved with a narcissist, you'll know exactly how dangerous and vindictive they can be. Now, they won't use physical violence to break their victims down, although the tactics they use are just as painful and debilitating. These slippery characters operate under the shadow of darkness and use subtle mind games and tactics in order to exert a maximum amount of control and manipulation over their prey. You've no doubt already guessed it, but in case you haven't yet, the silent treatment is a narcissist's go-to tactic when it comes to punishing their victims and taking control of them.

6 Reasons Why The Narcissist Silent Treatment Is So Dangerous
Contents: 

The cold shoulder may seem pretty harmless, but it is in fact quite the opposite! In relationships, it is actually regarded as one of the most damaging types of punishment that exist. As social creatures, we need communication to express ourselves and open our hearts, but this simply isn't possible with a narcissist. With them, disagreements aren't followed by a period of cooling off and then an apology. No, instead they are one-sided and soon turn into bitter cold wars, with them intent on punishing their victims and teaching them an albeit non-verbal lesson, hence the silent treatment. However, much like ghosters, when they feel like people have learned their so-called lesson, they'll resume all communication as a way of metaphorically rewarding them. After all, they love toying with emotions and feelings.

6 Reasons why silent treatment is a narcissist's favorite tactic

Here's why it's so powerful...

1) It's a form of emotional abuse

By going stone-cold silent on their victims, narcissists retain the upper hand in the relationship. In this particular case, they'll use the lack of communication as a form of punishment and therefore make their already downtrodden victims feel even more powerless, insignificant, and invisible. The truth is, when we are trapped in a cycle of vicious mental abuse, we often develop strong feelings for the perpetrators of our mental demise. Following this logic, victims who are typically isolated from their family members, therefore, feel rewarded and appreciated when they receive even the slightest bit of attention from their tormentors, which explains why cutting it off is so deeply cruel.

>>> Discover the dangerous mind games all narcissists play

2) It causes further trauma and stress

Verbal communication is the pillar of any relationship, so when a narcissist abuser decides to stop talking to their partner or in this case victim, they consciously choose to inflict pain and confusion on them. A sudden halt in communication may not seem like aggressive behavior, but it really is just that! Toxic relationships are like prisons in the sense that they break people down and cut them off from the outside world, meaning their bubble of comfort becomes very reduced. Now, in this case, when something changes within a relationship, such as communication being cut off, it's only natural to feel a flood of emotions including stress, anger, sadness, and frustration.

3) It worsens self-esteem issues

In any relationship, when one partner decides to stop talking, the other partner will naturally feel confused and also feel frustrated when no explanation as to why has been offered. Now, in the case of an abusive relationship with a grade A gaslighter, the innocent party will be so cut off from their old life that they'll have no one to confide in, meaning their brain will go into complete overdrive and result in them blaming themselves for this radical change. They may even end up begging or pleading with their abuser for clarification, whilst apologizing for hurting their feelings and offending them. Here, the roles will clearly be switched...

4) It makes victims even more determined to please

Narcissist silent treatment is a clear form of manipulation, and many psychologists believe that it is just as dangerous and debilitating as gaslighting. They say that silence speaks volumes, and they're certainly not wrong! This tactic allows ill-intentioned abusers to remain in the driving seat, whilst controlling the conversation. Plus, this amount of passive aggression pushes people to question everything, when they have in fact done absolutely nothing wrong.

5) It's a form of provocation

Folks with a narcissistic personality disorder are fantastic at analyzing people's shortcomings and weaknesses, which means they know exactly what buttons to push in order to provoke a reaction from someone. Now, when these slippery snakes want to intensify their hold over their prey, they'll do everything possible to push them to the edge and subsequently explode with rage and anger. Then, once they have obtained the explosive reaction they were looking for, they will begin to guilt-trip their victim and pretend that they feel really hurt by their behavior and trust me, they are great actors... This is a classic mind game that manipulators play to make their victims feel guilty for their outbursts. Plus, in most cases, it makes them even more determined to please their abuser, meaning it only reinforces the cycle of abuse.

6) It has negative physical effects too

Not only does silent treatment make you feel invisible, but it can also make you feel physically unwell too. As a matter of fact, feeling ignored triggers a reaction in the brain that then convinces people that they are physically hurt. Who'd have thought that silence could have such a severe negative effect on both our mental and physical state? Furthermore, it can provoke migraines, digestive issues, as well as insomnia which can last even after the period of abuse, is over.

Editor's opinion - There is light at the end of the tunnel

Once you have learned to recognize that you are a victim of abuse, a world of possibilities will present itself to you. Acknowledging what you have been through is the first and the most important step when it comes to healing. It's also essential to keep in mind that the journey to get better will be easier with the help of your family and friends. The bottom line is that you are an innocent party here, and didn't deserve any of this terrible pain.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!

#BornToBeMe

Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Katie M.

Discover the world through my eyes.

Our most popular psychology articles:

How Does A Narcissist React When They Can’t Control You?

You probably know by now that narcissists only ever look for one thing and one thing only; and that’s control! Whether in their personal or professional life, folks with this personality disorder need to be in the driving seat and the one calling the shots, otherwise all hell breaks loose. Although their cunning and manipulative nature means they are often hard to escape, it is still possible to turn the tables on them and take the upper hand. Yet, you’ll need a thick skin to do so because when they feel their power slipping away, they become even more dangerous and abusive; here’s how they react when that happens.

Are Narcissists Insecure?

There is no denying that narcissistic personalities display some deeply worrying and disturbing traits, but what if these devious traits were just a means of protection? What if they were in fact a complete facade, fabricated to keep people away, in the hope of hiding their deepest darkest insecurities? After all, everyone has weak spots, even the most confident and put together of people, so why wouldn’t a narcissist deal with the same niggling doubts as everyone else? It's time we got to the bottom of this and discovered why these folks are so insecure.

Do Narcissists Cry?

We hear so much about narcissists, yet so many questions remain unanswered, especially regarding their emotions and the authenticity of them. Shedding tears requires a deep sense of empathy and the ability to feel and understand pain, however, on paper people with this particular personality disorder don’t match up to the criteria necessary to well up. The truth is, narcissists CAN cry, however behind the stream of tears lies ulterior and less genuine motives than in most people. Trust me, I should know, because I used to date one and can assure you that everything they do is self-serving…

Overinflated Ego

“No, but in any case, I’m better than you.” Honestly, who likes hearing this kind of sentence? Sometimes, it’s not put so bluntly, but clearly, if we read between the lines, that’s what is meant. An overinflated ego is what defines a megalomaniac, along with a need to put yourself before others… Dealing with a megalomaniac isn’t easy, especially when it’s a daily occurrence! So, if you want a peaceful life, discover the true meaning of this disorder, and follow our tips to making this relationship just that little more bearable.

Do Narcissists Regret Hurting People?

From their lack of empathy to their scarily manipulative and controlling streak, narcissists arguably display despicable behavior that simply can’t be condoned. Once these people get their claws into a victim, they become ruthless and have absolutely no regard for the effects their behavior may have on their mental health. Now, as with many syndromes, nothing is black and white with these types of personality disorders. In fact, there are certainly many inaccurate theories regarding their relationship with remorse regarding their actions, and that’s why I’m here to set the record straight.

Insights into a narcissist's brain:

Why Do Narcissists Stare?

Narcissists have a reputation for being amongst the most manipulative people out there, and rightly so! The truth is, these people are so good at the evil things they do because they operate under the radar and use covert methods to exercise their depraved missions. Now, one of the biggest and seemingly most unsuspecting techniques they use to manipulate and control their victims is staring. You're no doubt a little dubious about a stare being an effective tool in the art of manipulation, but it's true, a void and menacing look is one of the most intimidating and unnerving gestures that these folks turn to.

8 Reasons Why All Narcissists Are Hypocrites

If you know anything about narcissists, you'll surely be aware that they are extremely overly judgmental and critical, especially towards other people. Their faultfinding stems from their perception of ultimate superiority, and therefore legitimizes them in holding people to intimidatingly high standards. However, although they may believe they are pretty much perfect, the reality couldn't be any more different, yet they are slightly more forgiving with themselves. That's right, they are huge hypocrites and go from one extreme to another in a split second. Here we discuss the reasons behind their hypocritical behavior.

Do Narcissists Always Come Back?

You're probably thinking that once a narcissist has upped sticks and fled, he'll never dare to show his face again, however, quite the opposite is true. The reality is that these folks are like bad smells, there's no getting rid of them quickly, therefore regardless of all the pain, hurt, and trauma they've put their victims through, they'll always make a comeback, just to prove that they are still in control. In fact, no matter how much time has passed, these torturous monsters will always eventually rear their ugly heads, just to get in that one last vicious blow. Discover which 10 circumstances they'll decide to show up in their exes' lives.

What Happens When The Narcissist Knows You've Figured Them Out

Dealing with a narcissist is never simple because let's face it, these folks aren't exactly the most reasonable or stable people around. Now, due to the fact that they are quite simply obsessed with being in control and particularly concerned with how they are perceived, they don't exactly take being exposed very well. Indeed, once they realize that you are on to them and have sussed out their behavior, they become very vindictive and plunge their victims into a further world of pain. Here are 10 things they often do when the jig is up.

5 Scary Things A Narcissist Smear Campaign Involves

We hear so much about these emotional abusers in every walk of life that we are sometimes so overloaded with information regarding them, meaning we often miss the red flags that, in hindsight, seem blatantly obvious. These vindictive manipulators often use smear campaigns as a way of getting back at their victims and villainizing them publicly. That's right, these evil campaigns are an effective method for them to change the narrative of the abuse, and to present themselves as victims, when in reality they are the perpetrators of the terror.

10 Reasons Why You'll Get No Closure With A Narcissist

Narcissists have a reputation for being nightmare exes, and their toxic behavior following a breakup really does reinforce this idea. Being dumped doesn't really go down well with these folks, which explains why they'll do everything in their power to prevent their ex, or should I say victim, from moving on. Closure isn't an easy thing to obtain upon walking away from a toxic relationship, and here are 10 reasons why.

How To Stop Being A Narcissist

Whilst many narcissists would never dream of changing their ways, those with a less severe form of this personality disorder are more likely to alter their ways. Now, many of us, and probably rightly so, tend to believe that narcissists are completely devoid of any empathy and that they are rigid and domineering by nature, but that’s not to say they can’t work towards being better people. After all, change IS certainly possible when you want it, and especially when you are willing to work for it. Admittedly, no one can just switch off their narcissistic button within themselves, but they can do things to be better.

How Long Will A Narcissist Rebound Relationship Last?

Narcissist rebound relationships generally last anywhere from 6-months to a year. Now, whilst the timeframe depends on each individual, these twisted personalities usually head into these relationships with a plan in mind, meaning they know exactly when and where they'll break things off. Plus, when they are in the final stages of a relationship with you, they are no doubt in the process of grooming their next victim. That's right, the need for a constant narcissistic supply means that they aren't likely to date any one person for an extensive period of time. For them, they require fresh blood every 6-months or so because they simply get bored. Let's take a look at the reasons why they keep their rebounds short, but not so sweet.

20 Narcissist Quotes

Narcissists are known for having a certain way with words, these folks certainly use this talent to their advantage, that's to say, to sink their teeth into their victims. Now, these calculating crooks don't use their gift of the gab to build people up, no, of course, they don't! Instead, the opposite is true, they use their smoothness to tear down their victims, destroy their confidence, and isolate them from their loved ones, all whilst brainwashing them and pretending to be the real victim. Wow, I don't know about you, but to me, that seems like a lot of work! Now, as skillful narcissists are, they can't completely dissimulate their true intentions and at points, their tongue betrays them, as you'll soon see in the following quotes. Here's what they typically say to bring people down...

Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

How to detect a narcissist


"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde